Born: May 17, 1939 Primary Instrument: Drums
After earning a liberal arts degree at Cornell University in 1961, Ted came to Boston to study at Berklee with legendary drummer Alan Dawson. It wasn’t long before Ted found himself performing with the likes of Herb Pomeroy, Jack Peterson, John LaPorta, Gary Burton, Mick Goodrick, Ray Santisi, and other Boston jazz stalwarts in Boston area dance and jazz bands. His Berklee studies with Herb Pomeroy also resulted in a burgeoning interest in composing and arranging.
Ted began teaching harmony and arranging classes at Berklee in 1964. With enrollment at Berklee expanding rapidly in the late 1960s, Ted found himself in the forefront of curriculum organization and revision. In the 1970s, he became chairman of Berklee’s arranging department and subsequently chairman of the entire Professional Writing Division. Noteworthy students who came through Berklee during this time included Alf Clausen, Gary Anderson, Abraham Laboriel, George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi, Jaxon Stock, Hal Crook, and Rob Mounsey.
Ted continued playing drums throughout the 1970s and 1980s. There were jazz gigs with visiting artists such as Lee Konitz, Budd Johnson, and Charlie Mariano as well as stints with local artists such as Ray Santisi and Andy McGhee. Ted also played with the Jimmy Mosher big band after Jimmy came off the road with Buddy Rich. (Ted’s original composition “Cornerstone” can be heard on the compact disc reissue of “Keep the Customer Satisfied,” recorded live by the Buddy Rich big band in Las Vegas in 1970.)
Ted co-founded, played drums with, and wrote for the Berklee Faculty Concert Jazz Orchestra along with saxophonist and teaching colleague Larry Monroe. Ted’s first grant from the National Endowment for the Arts was for an extended work written for and performed by that group.
In recent years, Ted has concentrated further on composing and arranging. He has contributed 16 original compositions to the Fall Together concert series presented annually since 1985 by the jazz composition department at Berklee. His second grant from the National Endowment for the Arts was for an extended work written for and performed by the Fall Together big band in 1986. He has also contributed to the library of Boston’s Big and Phat Jazz Orchestra led by Daniel Ian Smith. An offshoot of that large ensemble is the New World Jazz Composers Octet also led by Daniel Ian Smith. Their debut album NO PLACE TO HIDE achieved critical success in 2007. A second album, TRANSITIONS, will debut in June 2010. Ted co-produced both albums with Smith.
Ted is the author of two jazz textbooks: Jazz Composition Theory and Practice, and Modern Jazz Voicings, both published by Berklee Press. The latter book was co-authored with Ken Pullig.
Visit Ted’s web site at http://www.tedpease.com.
Awards:National Endowment for the Arts (2)
“Berklee family gives spirited salute to Pomeroy” (Kevin Lowenthal, Boston Globe 4/4/08)…. “An early highlight was Ted Pease’s ‘Five Flats for Herb,’ a simple blues showcasing the orchestra’s trumpet players, each representing an aspect of Pomeroy’s musical personality. Three trumpeters stood at the front of the stage, soloing in turn, backed by creamy reeds. Niv Toar played the growling, plunger-muted trumpet role; Max Miller-Loran used a Harmon mute for the buzzing part; and Jeremy Sinclair manned the mellow flugelhorn. The three voices began to converge, trading successively shorter phrases. Then, suddenly, from the highest riser at the rear of the stage, the soaring lead trumpet of Casey Brefka took over. The tune ended with the first three voices once more merged.”